While most of us have an excessive amount of skincare and haircare products, we tend to forget about our nails. We bite, scrape, scratch and bang our nails into countless amount of things without realizing it and not knowing that our nails are prone to being brittle. Under a tight student budget, not all of us can afford a regular mani-pedi session. So why not take matters into our own hands and start incorporating nail-strengthening foods into our regular diet?

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Nuts

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Photo by Kendra Valkema

Think almonds, walnuts and other nuts that contain a substantial amount of omega-3. Almonds are probably the best choice as they contain the highest amount of Vitamin E, magnesium and calcium compared to the rest of the nuts. These minerals will help strengthen your bones and prevent your nails from splitting.

#SpoonTip: Check out this nut infographic for a better understanding of what nuts you should be eating depending on what your body needs.

Salmon

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Photo by Yonatan Soler

Salmon is certainly one of the healthiest meats out there. It contains a high amount of Vitamin D, a vitamin that is found in both liver and fish oils but most notably, an essential vitamin that helps with the absorption of calcium. This increased absorption of calcium means that salmon can help to stimulate bone growth and increase nail strength. So instead of opting for your regular red meat, have salmon for a change.

Yogurt

Photo by Benjamin Hirsch

Skip the usual flavoured yogurt and go for the unsweetened Greek yogurt. This is because if chosen correctly, yogurt contains the usual nail strengthening minerals—protein, biotin, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium and Vitamin D. The best part of it all is that yogurt is so versatile you can have it in a variety of ways so you’ll never get sick of it.

Fruits and Vegetables

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Photo by Emily Hu

Beans, broccoli, bananas, cauliflowers are going to be your best friends. These foods contain high amounts of protein and biotin that support the production of keratin—the fibrous protein that makes your hair and nails. Biotin is one of the most important components for producing keratin that helps strengthen weak nails. It’s also important to eat a ton of fruits and vegetables as it helps hydrate your nails, keeping your nails looking polished and healthy.

Eggs

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Photo by Megan Prendergast

Want a non-meat alternative to salmon? Try eggs. Just like salmon, eggs are rich in protein and Vitamin D content. At the same time, eggs are easily digestible, which allows your stomach to function more smoothly. Eggs are also great for the extra keratin that is needed for beautiful, strong nails. If that isn’t motivation enough, high protein foods like eggs can help weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer.

Sunflower Seeds

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Photo by Xinwei Zeng

Besides being a perfect snack for long drives or late-night study sessions, these tiny, healthy snacks go a long way as they are potent with vast amounts of minerals and nutrients. For your nails especially, sunflower seeds contain lots of magnesium that encourages the formation of solid nail growth. Try sprinkling some sunflower seeds on your regular meals for an extra boost of flavour and healthiness.

It’s important to know you should be regularly eating these in order to see results. By the end of it, you’ll sure be saying you “nailed it!” with your strong and healthy nails.

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Photo courtesy of Japan Realtime